Starting your own online business is a big wish for many people! In fact, the possibilities in the digital age are almost limitless. Via the Internet you are always available for your customers and can earn money around the clock. Often, people start an online business as a sideline to see if the product will be accepted by the market without much risk.

Unfortunately, many fail before they even get started. The main reason is that they do not know how to start. What is the first step and what should I focus on? To prevent this, you should define a concrete goal including key figures in advance. In this goal you record what you want to achieve. You don’t have to know yet how exactly you will get there. But you should be clear about where you want to go. The path will then follow itself. The goal gives you a clear direction to better focus your actions. Metrics also show you if your activities are leading to progress or if you are working on the wrong issues. Since your time is very limited, you should always work on the right tasks that will bring you closer to your goal. Let’s take a look at how to define a goal for your online business and how the VINIS App can help you achieve it.

Which online business to start

The internet offers us a variety of ways to build an online business. From blogs, coaching, dropshipping, writing texts, selling digital products (e.g. e-books, courses, videos, tutorials, audiobooks), to developing websites, apps or other software, everything is possible. You just have to find what’s right for you. Think in advance about what you enjoy, where you already have experience or where you would like to develop. Once you have found the right online business for you, we can move on to defining the goal.

The concrete goal

As already explained, we want to set a concrete goal. Since you want to earn money with your online business, the targeted revenue should be included in the goal definition. In addition, a sales target forces you to have a finished product or service, otherwise no sales can be made. Depending on how far you are already with your project, you can flexibly adjust the value. A goal could be as follows:
“With my online business I will achieve a turnover of 30,000 $ in 2021”.
It is best to replace the “online business” with your specific plan. You should also always formulate your goal personally, positively and in the present tense. In the VINIS app you will find the goal template “My online business”, in which the points explained here are already preset.

Set a deadline

You should definitely set yourself a deadline to emphasize your intention. Your subconscious will make sure that you work more intensively on your online business. The deadline should be realistically adjusted to your starting point. Enter the estimate of when you want to reach your goal in the VINIS app.

Determine your strategy

Next, we come up with a rough strategy of how we want to build our online business. This will make it easier for us to determine the metrics afterwards. We’ll assume you want to sell an e-book on a particular topic. After the e-book is completed, the question is how to sell it. One possibility would be an online store on your own website. To get visitors to your website, you could publish free content on the topic via a blog. Also, it would be a good idea to collect the email addresses of your visitors. This could be done e.g. via a newsletter, through which you regularly send further free content. With the email list, you now have another channel through which the paid product can be promoted and sold. Once you have implemented these points, you should be able to generate your first sales. However, the strategy only works with a certain amount of traffic on the website. You should therefore focus on this.

Progress at a glance

In the next step, we want to determine metrics that you can use to measure your progress. It is important to recognize as early as possible whether you are approaching your goal or whether you are going astray. Only then can you react in time and, if necessary, take appropriate action. All of the key figures described here can be found in the “My Online Business” goal template in the VINIS app.

In our strategy, there was a strong focus on the website. This will be the case for most business ideas on the Internet. Without visitors, there will be no sales. Thus, we set a key figure for the number of visitors to the website. We want to see the current month’s visitors and a comparison to the previous month. Only if you have a steady increase here are you making progress. In the VINIS app, we use a growth key figure for this. The current value shows you the visitors of the current month and the original value is the number of visitors of the previous month. The corresponding values can not only be entered manually in the app, but can also be loaded automatically by an analytics tool. This way you will get a regular update on your visitors. If you use e.g. Matomo for tracking your website, you can find a how-to for integration in the VINIS app here.

If you have enough traffic on the website, this will also result in signups for the newsletter. The email list is an important tool to market your paid products directly. We thus want to keep track of the number of subscribers in another key figure. For this we use a value key figure. This shows you the current number of subscribers. Here we can again load the data directly from the service used. If you use Mailchimp for your newsletter, for example, you can find a how-to for integration here.

If the marketing strategy works via your own website, you will achieve your first sales. The turnover is the main key figure for our goal. I.e. this key figure determines whether you have reached your goal or not. In the app, we use a target key figure for this purpose. We set the targeted revenue as the target value. As an example, we used $30,000 here in the target definition. As a current value, we thus need the sales of the current year. If you don’t want to enter them manually in the app, one possibility would be to take them from a Google Sheets document. Here you could create a table and enter your sales. The total can be accessed directly from the key figure. You can find a tutorial here.

Finally we want to see if the online business is profitable and how much profit is left. Since the exact profit can only be calculated correctly after the year is over, we will define a profit forecast as a key figure. We will use a value key figure for the presentation. To calculate it, you subtract operating costs from your sales. It is best to do this in the same document in which your sales are listed. The key figure then accesses the value from the Google Sheets document.

We have now defined 4 key figures that give you a good overview of your online business. Of course, these can be extended or adjusted as you wish. You can now see at a glance how the relevant areas are developing without having to analyze all the individual services and documents.

Online business goal in VINIS app with Apple Watch

All metrics in the VINIS app are structured in such a way that you can decide whether the values should be entered manually in the app or loaded from an external source (e.g. Google Sheets, Mailchimp, Matomo, etc.).

Determine tasks and priorities

Now you should still determine your next steps. You can create reminders (tasks & ideas) for each goal. Set the tasks on important with which you will achieve the most. For example, the creation of the website should be set as important. Since your time is very limited, you should not deal with unimportant issues. Try to do the tasks with which you can positively influence your metrics. This will help you achieve your goal in the long run.

And now start with the implementation. I wish you much success with your online business.
Don’t have the VINIS app installed yet? Then you can download it here for free.